The Truth About The MyPillow Commercial Guy

Do you wake up feeling tired in the morning? Are those mornings ruined by phantom headaches, a stiff neck, and "a tingly feeling" in your fingertips? If so, you may have spent one too many sleepless nights watching MyPillow infomercials.

These ads can be tough to shake, featuring average Joes and Janes lovingly fondling, plumping, and nuzzling their MyPillows as they float listlessly through outer space. The product allegedly "adjusts to your individual sleep needs regardless of sleeping position," thanks to a "patented open-cell, poly-foam design." MyPillow is the brainchild of gregarious crack addict-turned-entrepreneur Mike Lindell, a self-professed inventor and "sleep expert." In six years, Lindell reportedly spent $100 million on those infomercials (per CNBC.) By 2017, My Pillow, Inc. had allegedly sold more than 30 million pillows, making approximately $300 million a year in revenue. 

But there's so much more to Lindell's story, like a record-breaking pillow fight, and a battle with the Better Business Bureau, and a bromance with President Donald Trump that runs so deep that Lindell joined him in the nation's response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Switch on the night light and slide on your reading glasses, because you won't get a good night's sleep ... until you discover the dark truth about the MyPillow commercial guy.

​The creator of MyPillow was a crack addict

Fact: Crack addicts rarely become multi-millionaire entrepreneurs. "People say all the time that's one of the biggest miracles ever," Mike Lindell told CNBC in September 2017, claiming he'd been sober for eight years: "It can be done, people."

How bad was his addiction? In March 2008, Lindell's dealer reportedly stuck his neck out for his client, supposedly telling other local drug dealers not to sell any more crack to Lindell until his customer got some much-needed shuteye. "I was like, 'Wow, drug dealers care!'" Lindell told Bloomberg, claiming that the dealers all agreed, refusing to sell Lindell any more rock. As some sort of nod toward tough love, the dealer took a photo of Lindell at his most unkempt, reportedly telling him: "You're going to need this for your book." 

Lindell was allegedly still abusing drugs when he founded MyPillow in 2005, but said he eventually cleaned up his act on Jan. 16, 2009, when he reportedly quit all substances after one last blowout. "I had one prayer that night," he said. "God, I want to wake up in the morning and never have the desire again." The next day, he said his craving for cocaine "was just gone." 

The idea for MyPillow came to Mike Lindell in a dream

Mike Lindell claimed divine inspiration planted the idea for MyPillow in 2004: "I had a dream — which I believe was right from God — about MyPillow," he told CBS News. Apparently the logo came first, and Lindell just couldn't shake the thing. "I got up in the middle of the night," he told CNBC, and the Eureka moment hit him around 2 in the morning: "I had 'My Pillow' written everywhere in the kitchen and all over the house," he said.

In a moment he vividly reenacted in a MyPillow commercial, Lindell claims one of his daughters entered the kitchen that night in search of some water and found her father working feverishly on his new idea. "I've got this idea for this pillow," he allegedly told her. "It's gonna be called MyPillow!" All his daughter apparently said was: "That's really random," and turned and headed back downstairs. (Sounds like a well-adjusted child. If we ever walked into the kitchen to find our father scrawling "MyPillow" all over everything, we would scream.)

It sounds like Lindell has always been somewhat fixated on pillows. In 1977, when he was just 16, he claims he purchased a $70 pillow because he had insomnia. "Who does that as a teenager?" he asked.

Mike Lindell staged the world's largest pillow fight

It says it right there on the Guinness World Records website: On May 18, 2018, the largest-ever pillow fight rocked Minneapolis, with thousands of participants flooding the Minnesota Vikings' U.S. Bank Stadium, according to CBS Sports. As far as pillow fights go, this was an exceedingly chaste affair. Guinness World Records reports the happening was baked into the "evangelistic PULSE Movement event," a Christian concert that reportedly draws about 60,000 individuals a year. The pillowy powwow was spearheaded by Mike Lindell. One-hundred and seventy MyPillow employees reportedly placed complimentary MyPillows on 66,200 stadium seats. (In a tweet, Lindell says it took 170 employees eight hours.)

Video footage captures every flapping pillow. Lindell whoops through a mic, riling the crowd with the help of another overzealous emcee: "Make some noise!" As security guards scour the pillow fight for signs of devilry, Lindell and his friend continue to shout: "Swing that pillow, baby, come on!" "Keep swinging it, everybody! Keep swinging it... Say JESUS!" Later, Daft Punk's "One More Time" pumps through the stadium as pillows flop and flap. 

The event ends with Lindell ad-libbing a prayer. Down on one knee, with that knee resting on a MyPillow, Lindell openly hopes Jesus "touched" people in the audience. Addressing his Savior directly, he pleads: "Lord, make these pillows that people take home... their Prayer Pillow... That they will lay on 'em, and never forget this night, and they will pray to you, Lord." Amen.

That time footage surfaced of Lindell yelling at MyPillow employees

Underneath that effortfully breezy public persona, evidence points to a darker side of MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. According to the Star Tribune, a "faceless" clip of Lindell surreptitiously materialized on YouTube in 2014. The audio allegedly features Lindell succumbing to several bona fide on-the-job meltdowns. One reportedly involves 150,000 botched orders, with Lindell telling a staffer: "Don't shake your f****ing head." Additional audio reportedly features Lindell being a general hothead and launching F-bombs left and right. Lindell suspects "two former employees and relatives" released the YouTube clip.

Lamentably, we couldn't get our hands on any of this audio. Lindell claimed his "lawyers are getting [the clip] removed from YouTube," and perhaps they succeeded. Nevertheless, a Tribune gossip reporter got her hands on two clips, after a tipster emailed her with an unambiguously worded message: "His behavior daily in our office." Lindell, for his part, assured the Tribune this was the old Lindell.

The Star Tribune seems slightly obsessed with Lindell. In 2013, the publication claimed his ex-wife filed for divorce because he's a "snooze." According to Lindell, his second ex-wife, Dallas Yocum, told him, "I don't love you. I never loved you. You're boring." At the time, reportedly four of Yocum's relatives had been working for MyPillow. We're not professional detectives, but what are the chances one of those Yocums was involved in the embarrassing YouTube leak? 

Mike Lindell thinks MyPillow was an act of God

The academic life didn't sit particularly well with Mike Lindell. According to CNBC, he attended the University of Minnesota in 1979 while working two jobs, but only stayed there for a quarter: "I felt like I was just wasting my time," he said. The daily grind wasn't quite his thing, either, considering he was fired from a gig at a grocery store. Lindell didn't get along well with the manager, who said something that may have jiggered a latent entrepreneurial spirit in the man: "Well, Mike," he allegedly said, "If you don't like it here, maybe get your own company someday." 

Indeed, after several failed attempts to do just that, Lindell ultimately found massive success with MyPillow, and he thinks that success was all part of God's master plan: "The only way that we were able to do that was divine intervention," he said. Lindell has since returned the favor by co-founding LIGHTBEAMedia, "a contemporary Christian content provider" that offers cinematic fare such as Heaven, How I Got Here: A Night with the Thief on the Cross. That hour-long drama stars Stephen Baldwin as a thief who dies on a crucifix several feet away from Jesus Christ. Baldwin claims none of his prior performances have "so personally impacted me." This presumably includes his turn in The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas.

MyPillow was fined $1 million for 'deceptive ads'

The first thing you'll see upon paying a visit to MyPillow's official website is a promise from Mike Lindell: "I personally guarantee MyPillow will be the most comfortable pillow you'll ever own." What you'll no longer see, as of October 2016, are claims that the pillow will have a positive influence on your health, ridding you of insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and a number of other sleep disorders. That's to make no mention of migraines, snoring, and fibromyalgia.

According to Truth in Advertising, MyPillow both directly and indirectly claimed their pillows can potentially ease symptoms of acid reflux, menopause, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis. As NBC News reported in November 2016, MyPillow was subsequently fined $1 million for "deceptive advertising practices" in a lawsuit that claimed the company "should have known" that its ads "were untrue or misleading." Because of another lawsuit, Lindell reportedly agreed to stop calling himself a "sleep expert," too.

"We did nothing wrong," Lindell told NBC News. "Rather than fight this, I made a business decision to prevent long and costly litigation." Meanwhile, Truth in Advertising Executive Director Bonnie Patten sounds pretty certain Lindell did plenty wrong: "MyPillow was deceiving consumers into buying these expensive pillows thinking that it was going to help their health conditions when he [Mike Lindell] had no science to back up these claims." 

This begs the question: How does Mike Lindell sleep at night?

Why the Better Business Bureau gave MyPillow an "F"

In January 2017, MyPillow's "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota dropped to an "F," according to The Washington Post. What changed? The Bureau cited several questionable practices, but highlighted the company's seemingly endless "Buy One, Get One Free" promotion. If a promotion like that never ends, it's just the price of the product, deceptively worded. (This reportedly violates Federal Trade Commission rules.) According to the Daily Beast, MyPillow commercials regularly advertised the pillows for "half price" at $99.97 for two pillows, even though they tend to retail at $49.99 a pop. This boils down to one cent of savings.

In an interview with USA TodayBarb Grieman, senior vice president of the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota, claims MyPillow was warned about the problem: "They said that they didn't really understand that that was a problem, but that they couldn't change it at that time. ... They felt that it would be too distressful for their company." Asked why the offer was still being advertised after the rating drop, Lindell says it was because he'd already pre-paid for his advertising spots and didn't want his so customers to be "confused."

Lindell suspects the bureau's decision had more to do with the fact that he supports Donald Trump. "Really, you're sure it's not about the election?" he crowed in an interview with CBS, adding: "I firmly believe that the only explanation is political."

Trump says Mike Lindell makes a 'great' pillow

As the expression goes, Mike Lindell and Donald Trump are as thick as thieves. According to Lindell's website, Trump became interested in Lindell's entrepreneurial spirit, which led to their first meeting in August 2016 at Trump Tower. Eschewing the small talk, they reportedly hunkered down and got right to the subject of religion. Lindell apparently kicked things up a notch by telling Trump he was a "divine appointment." He left the meeting convinced that "Donald Trump is going to be the most amazing president in history."

Both the president and the first lady are allegedly huge fans of MyPillow. According to Think Progress, a Trump rally in June 2018 quickly devolved into an infomercial of sorts, with Trump rapturously singing MyPillow's praises: "[Lindell] does make a great product, great pillows," he said. "I actually use them, believe it or not." 

The president promoted Lindell and MyPillow again during — of all things — a Coronavirus Task Force Briefing in the White House Rose Garden on March 30, 2020. But it's not quite as strange as it sounds. Lindell and other manufacturers shifted their processes to produce much-needed personal protective equipment in the effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, so Trump invited them to inform the nation of their efforts. Lindell did just that, followed by some "off the cuff" remarks in which he made it clear that he believes Trump's election (like his Lindell's pillow design) was a result of God's "grace." 

The MyPillow guy's talk-show appearances devolve into advertisements

In August 2017, Mike Lindell appeared on CNBC to explain why he's "standing by" President Donald Trump: "He's not a racist. He's an amazing person, and he will persevere and get through and get to his agenda." The appearance is notable because Lindell's visit becomes something of a subliminal advertisement for MyPillow. As he speaks, digital signage keeps popping up, telegraphing various alleged selling points about the product. The messaging proudly touts MyPillow's "patented interlocking fill" and the fact that it "adjusts to individual sleep neeeds [sic]." In the end, the effect is not unlike many of the official MyPillow commercials, which ape the style and setting of contemporary talk shows, with Lindell as the esteemed guest. 

Interviewing Lindell presents something of a conflict of interest for networks. During a 2017 interview with CBS anchor Esme Murphy, she made the point of saying: "In the interest of full disclosure, Mr. Lindell is a frequent advertiser on WCCO Television, and has also purchased an hour of airtime tonight after our late local news for the airing of a special that he produced called The Mike Lindell Story: An American Dream." 

Is Mike Lindell really a ladies man?

Mike Lindell, who was once dubbed President Donald Trump's "new best friend" by the Daily News, isn't just a favorite among conservative TV pundits. He's apparently somewhat of a ladies man — at least if you're reading the tabloids, which seem to be almost obsessed with this bizarre detail about him. Apparently, the infomercial star was a hot ticket at Trump's inauguration, and a headline from City Pages alleges the pillow connoisseur was the "hot stud ladies man" of the definitely well-attended event. It's so sad to think Mike Pence was glossed over for that title.

In 2017, Page Six unabashedly reported that "ladies love" the divorced former crack addict. Per the report, "women flocked to Lindell" at the Empire State Inaugural Kickoff despite the presence of "big names including Newt Gingrich and Jon Voight." Apparently, a group of "attractive blond women" approached the millionaire as he humble-bragged to the tabloid, "A lot of people recognize me from the MyPillow ads, and they often stop and ask for pictures. It's a blessing." Clearly, Lindell knows what women want: to stand in the presence of a '70s-style mustache and to get a good night's sleep.

Mike Lindell is a film financier

Mike Lindell doesn't just hawk pricey pillows. The star has jumped into an entirely new field. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lindell is officially a Hollywood financier. In 2018, the pillow mogul financed his second motion picture. But Lindell, who's "worth an estimated $300 million," has a strict code when choosing his projects. "I don't get into things for the money; I get into them if the message is right," he told THR.

The multimillionaire first embarked on this new path by investing in Church People, a Stephen Baldwin-led Christian comedy. After that, he dumped $1 million into a flick called Unplanned from the makers of the Christian blockbuster hit God's Not Dead, which grossed $61 million in the box office. Per THR's report, Unplanned was secretly filmed because of its controversial stance on Planned Parenthood, and Lindell was responsible for about one sixth of the project's overall funding. He also made a cameo in the film where he helps bulldoze a Planned Parenthood location in favor of a headquarters for the anti-abortion group 40 Days for Life. "I'm pro-life and I'm happy to do it," he told THR.

For Lindell's third project, the star intended to finance a film based on his book What are the Odds? From Crack Addict to CEO. Yes, one day we're probably going to have a MyPillow guy biopic.

Laura Ingraham won't #BoycottMyPillow

If there's one thing about Mike Lindell, it's that he sticks strongly to his convictions. The star was one of the few advertisers who did not pull their ads from Laura Ingraham's show after high school shooting survivor David Hogg called for a boycott of the Fox News host.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the boycott was sparked after Ingraham reportedly taunted the Marjory Stoneman Douglas student on social media over his college rejections. In an interview, Hogg had mentioned that he didn't get into four University of California schools (hey, rejections happen to even the smartest kids). "David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it," she tweeted. "(Dinged by UCLA with a 4.1 GPA ... totally predictable given acceptance rates)."

Ingraham later apologized, but advertisers like Nestle, Jounson & Johnson, TripAdvisor, Hulu, and Expedia had already pulled out. MyPillow was not among them. "I did not take my advertising down from [The Ingraham Angle] and [Fox News]," Lindell tweeted. "Nor do I intend to." According to the Daily Caller, after Lindell's announcement, Hogg supporters called for a boycott of MyPillow using the hashtag #BoycottMyPillow; however, it would appear that sales remained strong.

Mike Lindell helped post Kyle Rittenhouse's bail

Mike Lindell was back in the news in November 2020 for giving some cash to Kyle Rittenhouse, the teen who became a national headline after fatally shooting two people and injuring one during the protests in Kenosha, Wis. According to CNN, the protests, which took place in August, followed the death of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was killed in a police shooting a couple of days prior.

ABC 7 reported that Rittenhouse, who turned himself into the police, was charged with "first-degree intentional homicide, attempted homicide, reckless homicide, recklessly endangering safety and illegal possession of a firearm." He was being held on a $2 million bond because he faced a "mandatory life sentence" or "likely decades of time" behind bars, according to Kenosha County Commissioner Loren Keating, who spoke to CNN. Thus, the teen was declared "flight risk."

Lindell ended up helping Rittenhouse post the enormous bail sum. In a tweet, the teen's attorney, Lin Wood, claimed the MyPillow CEO and actor Ricky Schroder donated to Rittenhouse's #FightBack campaign, which sends money to the Kyle Rittenhouse Defense fund.